Cy Young: a baseball life by Reed Browning

By Reed Browning

He was once the winner of 511 significant league baseball video games, approximately 100 greater than the other pitcher. He threw 3 no-hitters, together with the 1st excellent video game within the new American League. He used to be one of the unique twelve gamers inducted into baseball's corridor of repute, and his identify is now hooked up to the game's such a lot prestigious pitching award. but for all his accomplishments, Cy younger is still to so much baseball lovers a mythical yet little identified determine. during this booklet, Reed Browning re-creates the lifetime of Denton real "Cyclone" younger and locations his tale within the context of a quickly altering turn-of-the-century the US. Born in rural Ohio, the son of a Civil battle veteran, younger realized his exchange at a time while in basic terms underhand pitching used to be authorized. while he started his specialist occupation in 1890, pitchers wore no gloves and stood 5 ft in the direction of the batter than they do at the present time. by the point he retired in 1911, the video game of baseball had advanced into its glossy shape and claimed unquestioned prestige as America's "national pastime." As Browning exhibits, Young's striking mastery of his craft owed a lot to his skill to conform to the altering nature of the online game. Endowed with a great fastball, he progressively built a good selection of deliveries and pitches-all of which he may throw with unbelievable keep watch over. but his good fortune is also attributed, no less than partly, to the country values of loyalty, exertions, and reasonable play that he embraced and embodied, and for which he grew to become popular between baseball enthusiasts of his day.

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56. While in the Tri-State League Young's strikeouts had exceeded his walks by eight to one, in the National League he struck out only 39 and walked 30. ) Even his fielding was faulty. 796. 13 In sum, the dilution of talent in the major leagues in 1890 had afforded Young an early chance to test his ability at the highest level of competition, and his performance had earned him the right to return to the majors; but little so far had stamped him as a future star. A word about the Spiders is now in order, for in 1891 the outstanding team that the club would be putting in the field on a daily basisbarring injuriesfor much of the remaining decade began to take recognizable shape.

When Cy Young reached the majors, home plate was a square and the distance from the pitcher to home was 55 feet, 6 inches; when he ended his career home had become a pentagon and pitchers began their deliveries 5 feet farther back, the present-day distance. In his early seasons he played with both hands uncovered; when he retired, he protected his left hand with a glove. For over half of his career Young faced batters who suffered no penalty at all for fouling off pitches; by the end he was benefitting from the rule, still in effect, that designates the first two fouls as strikes.

18961898: A Durable Man 59 6. 18991900: St. Louis Blues 75 7. Snapshot of a Private Man 93 8. 19011902: The Toast of Boston 103 9. The Triumph of Bifederal Baseball 119 10. 19031904: The King of Pitchers 125 11. The Foundations of Success 150 12. 19051908: Old Cy Young 162 13. True Nobility 178 14. 19091911: Recessional 184 15. 19121955: Life after Glory 195 Appendix One. Cy Young's Salary History 217 Appendix Two. Cy Young's Greatest Games 222 Appendix Three. 511 Wins? 226 Notes 231 Bibliography 263 Index 277 Illustrations follow page 144 Page ix Preface As each passing season advances the threshold of living baseball memory, men whose legends were once the staple of sports talk fade inexorably into obscurity.

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